Introducing your horse to other horses

Horses are social creatures, so they need horsey friends to keep them company. Here's what to keep in mind for making sure your horse gets enough social time, and what to remember when you're introducing them to horses they haven't met before.

  • Don't house them on their own - horses shouldn't be kept alone in individual paddocks or pens.
  • Let them play outside with other horses - give your horse as much time as possible in paddocks interacting freely with other horses. Isolated horses may get very stressed, which can lead to abnormal behaviour.
  • Let them see their neighbours - your stables should be designed with partitions that allow horses to see and interact with their neighbours, including allowing them to put their heads over stable doors. Don't stable horses that don't get on well with each other next to each other or put them in the same paddock.
  • Keep them in the same groups - to minimise aggression, keep horses in the same groups each time they're let out into paddocks.
  • Introduce them to new horses carefully - if you need to introduce new horses into a group, watch them carefully to make sure they're not the target of too much aggression from the others. Unfamiliar horses may squeal at, threaten, bite or kick each other when first introduced.
  • Give them enough space - you should give your horse enough space to allow them to get away from other horses and avoid being cornered. Check all the horses in the group for signs of injury more frequently than normal.

Find out more about caring for your horse or pony in our guides to their environment, diet, behaviour, health and welfare.

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